The contest, which InfoWorld's Tech Watch first reported on in June, got the attention of the FBI, who expressed concern and called conference organizers to Washington, D.C., to explain the rules (ultimately, no attempt was made to prevent the contest from happening). Hadnagy said that around 20 participants took part on Friday, but that many others who had registered to participate dropped out, with some citing pressure from employers to forego the exercise, including threats of termination.
Mati Aharoni, of Offensive Security and social-engineer.org, said that the point was not to embarrass companies that fell victim to the social engineering hacks, but mainly to raise awareness about the need for better user education -- especially for lower-level employees not considered "important" by management, but who may be sources of important information for potential attackers.
A report on the results of the contest is forthcoming, although specifics about which information was obtained from which companies will not be released. The winner received the rare and coveted "black badge," granting the holder lifetime admission to the Defcon conference.
This article, "Social engineering contest proves to be all too easy" was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.